Airbnb will soon show you how much your trip will actually cost
This change to Airbnb has been long overdue.
What does Airbnb have in common with a low-cost airline? The price you see is seldom the price you get.
Just as Spirit Airlines charges for seat assignments and bags, Airbnb’s room rates are often accompanied by unexpected fees. Cleaning fees. Local taxes. Service charges. You get the idea.
People hate paying more than they should for things. But they really detest feeling like they’re conned. And Airbnb’s historical lack of pricing transparency has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
Fortunately, the travel company is taking action.
Long-overdue price transparency
Posting to Twitter, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company will start showing the total cost of a trip within the app’s search results.
This long-overdue feature is expected to arrive next month. Although it excludes things like local taxes, which vary wildly between towns and states, it includes the various discretionary charges that hosts can include.
Per Airbnb’s own documentation, hosts can charge guests for pets, end-of-stay cleaning, and linen.
In addition to these (reasonable-ish) charges, Airbnb also gives hosts the option to charge resort, management, and community fees.
The latter two seem more geared toward long-term rentals, rather than short-term stays, which account for the majority of bookings on the platform.
Users will have to opt-in to Airbnb’s new transparent pricing by tapping a toggle switch located at the top of the search results.
Interestingly, Airbnb won’t break down the total rate on a per-night basis. Rather, it’ll show the cost for the entire trip (minus taxes).
Chesky said this was a deliberate decision, with Airbnb’s ranking algorithm now prioritizing properties with the lowest total prices, rather than simply those with the lowest nightly rate.
That’s important, as the lowest nightly rates are often unrepresentative of what guests will ultimately pay.
No more vacuuming
This move is one of many taken by the company to improve the guest experience.
In addition to providing hosts with more flexible pricing and discounting tools, it’s also cracking down on “unreasonable” checkout requests.
Hosts will now have to show potential guests any checkout requests before they make a booking. These requests, Chesky said, should be “reasonable.”
“You shouldn’t have to do unreasonable checkout tasks, such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming. But we think it’s reasonable to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors — just as you would when leaving your own home,” says Chesky.
“If hosts have checkout requests, they should be reasonable and shown to you before you book”
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